The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is "more optimistic than ever" that its athletes will have access to COVID-19 vaccines prior to this summer's Tokyo Olympics, USOPC chief executive officer Sarah Hirshland said Wednesday.

Hirshland said on a conference call that the organization hopes athletes will be vaccinated "readily and easily" and "well before" the Games, which are slated to begin July 23. Some athletes, she continued, might even receive their shots before competing in Olympic trials, many of which are scheduled for June.

"We're happy that the vaccine situation here is looking very positive," Hirshland said, "to help ensure that the broad base of athletes might have that access sooner than we initially thought possible."

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